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  • Writer's pictureMitch and Madli Duff

Prayer upon prayer, layer by layer - breaking free from the tight grip of the Ego

Updated: Mar 18

"[ ...] It is said that -

enlightenment appears dark,

the progressive way appears retrograde,

the smooth way appears jagged,

the highest peak of revelation appears empty like a valley,

the cleanest abundance appears insufficient,

the most enduring inner strenght appears like weakness,

and creativity appears imitative""

Great talents mature slowly.

Great sounds are silent.

Great forms look sharpless.

Transcendent squareness has no corners.

- "Tao Te Ching", Verse 41 "Observing and nourishing paradox" by Lao Tzu Photo - Kacie Herd

So many laps and rounds it has taken me, to finally get here. So much shedding. I have had this calling, this inexplicable longing to begin telling my story but up until very recently, I could not figure out why. And until I did not know the reason, I was creating aimlessly, because see, whenever we create aimlessly, we almost undoubtedly, create not from the heart, but from the wound around longing to be validated.

My name is Madli, I am 27 years old and I was born in a small post-soviet country in Eastern Europe, called Estonia. I could try to tell you who I am in words but I would much prefer, if you would like to take this journey with me, to show you bit by bit, through sharing my story instead. Slowly and over time, as what I am about to begin sharing with you is a whole ocean. While some of us prefer to plunge straight in, most prefer to walk in slowly and deliberately, taking as long as necessary to slowly get accustomed, until there is a readiness to submerge.

Before I begin weaving. though, I want to talk to you about the "why". Figuring out the reason I was being called to share my story and the blocks I had to remove before I could truthfully, authentically and intentionally start sharing my medicine.

Without conscious intention, a pause to think,"why am I creating and sharing this with the world?", we lean towards doing things FOR LOVE, not FROM LOVE.

Breaking free from the tight grip of The Ego

If you read my first post, if you listen to the first episode of The Pussy Portal Podcast I created some months ago, you can occaisonally hear in the tone of my voice a sense of conceitedness. A "look at me, I am so cool, so spiritual. I have lived a cool life, done cool things with cool people and I am bragging about it" vibe. Or, you can hear doubt. Or both at the same time, which is extra cringe. I can see and hear it so clearly now and I desperately want to delete them, but I won't, because I believe my journey, my own transformation, the layer by layer of shedding of the facade, is my most important offering to the world.

I was going through massive and very real changes, I begun seeing how my path was rapidly changing me and leading me and it made me want to scream to the world who I was becoming, because most of my life, I had not been received or truly seen. Especially when it was around being vulnerable in my experession. But two things:

1) I started sharing about my separation 2-3 months into it, I mean come on. What was I thinking? Well, I know what I was thinking. I didn't want to feel the pain, the grief, to crumble, so instead I tried to bypass my journey by trying to jump from the bottom of the stairs all the way up, without any work, without feeling any of those big, scary, heavy feelings. Without coming undone. I was seeking the answer before I even knew the question. I was iching to share the lesson before it was learned, let alone integrated. I wanted to tell a story that was still happening, while none of the actual, true, meaningful and lasting change had not taken place yet. I was a rebel, not conscious or embodied. And it fucking showed.

2) The Ego narrates things with force, from a place of fear, not from a place of love. The ego believes it has to make things sound bigger and better than what they are because it believes that what really is, is not enough. It wishes to impress, to seek validation. The more inflated the ego, the bigger the wound causing the swelling of the spirit, which is also the case with narcissists. Behind the grandiose sense of self is a deep wound around being received and loved without condition. While I am not a narcissist, I definitely had narcisstic tendancies which rooted from feeling like who I truly was, was not lovable and definitely not enough. And amplified by comparison and envy through social media (which is another topic I will soon talk about - healing from social media bred narcissism and imposter syndrom).

While there was always a genuine intention deep down, I was still way over my head stuck in the ego grip. I hadn't consciously worked with myself to bring awareness to what my true intention and purpose for sharing my story was.

These wounds begin forming early in childhood and are directly related to an aspect of you that is called the Inner Child. It is a part of us that is very alive and very present, even if you are not aware of Him or Her - the little you, and the more scared and hurt this child within you is, the more you are entrapped in toxic cycles of self abuse, neglect, harm and attracting unhealty relationships. One day soon, I will come back to this topic with the help of my dear friend and holsitic psychotherapist Monica from The Thriving Spirit Project, as inner child healing on my own path has been a vital key in transforming my life and restoring a sense wholeness within my being, if not the most crucial of them all.

Coming back to the "why". The reason I am going to start sharing my story

There is a lot that has happened in my life, well, for a while, but mainly and most relevantly, over the past six years. When I was 21, I moved to Australia with a rocksolid (or so I thought) plan, to work as an Au Pair for half a year and then travel through South East Asia for a few months, just in time to be back home for the next school year. But see, life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans and the plan I had so carefully crafted for myself, got turned on its head completely when I met my soon to be ex husband Mitch.

Synchronistically, in the most perfect way, just today I happened to record a short interview with my cool-bean friend Jess for her film school assignment, speaking about this part of my life that is now coming to completion and is at the tail end of its catharsis. Of going travelling at 21, falling in love, getting married, my relationship breakdown after 5 years, going through separation and embarking on a journey of self discovery once again. Because I ended up speaking about this part of my story in the interview, I am not going to tell it again here, but instead, if you are interested, I will send you over to the podcast episode, called

"Prologue to my story - When feeling lost on your path, reconnect with your original dream."

If you listen to the podcast, you hear me tell a magical story from a trip to South East Asia with my ex husband Mitch. These two photos helps illustrate it. Little India, Singapore

Through a deeply cathartic "dark night of the soul" and death journey, brought on first by my separation and then amplified by being kicked out of my rental, finding myself without a place to call home and lost, having been stripped completely bare, my ego really begun to shatter. When there is nothing to hold on to, no one to save you and no way out or back, you finally start to go within and ask yourself - who am I? Without all the masks, layers, facades and conditioning.

This is a story to be told in its own right, but as part of this darkness and existential dread, I begun to genuinely transform. The part of me that was seeking external validation started learning to nurture and validate myselt, like a mother and a father, but within. And from it begun to rise guidance and awarness to the fact that I was, and had always been, on a medicine path. That my story was never my own. It was for me to live, to learn, to integrate, to alchemise and then to share what I have gathered on my walks, in order to help illuminate the path for those who are still seeking for their own truth. And also simply to share in my rawness, humaness and complete honesty, my own path on the way back to the heart.

"dark night of the soul" - often used to describe an extremely difficult and painful period in one's life, for example, after the death of a loved one; the break-up of a marriage; or the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness.

Indigenous cultures teach us of the importance of stories . It is through our stories, that our spirits live on. The path that I am on is not exactly common, it is filled with so much mystique and magic, which is all something I wish to now begin sharing with the world. It is my medicine. It is so beautiful. And we are all so hungry for it. For connection. For magic. A sense of hope. A renewed way of experiencing life. I am going to do my best to inspire and light the way for you to find your own truth and your own light. You are a work of art, so loved and so lovable, even if it is currently hidden under dust and debris. All you have to do is remember who you truly are!

Yours Truly,



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